Join us for Giving Voice (May 8): A celebration of Immigrants and Refugees

Ever find yourself digging up skeletons from the fourth century in France? Me neither – but #VoicesOfILI’s Macey Faiella can’t say the same!

Macey is originally from Northern California. She grew up in Sacramento and then attended college in Santa Clara.

She majored in art history; however, after feeling like there were limited options for work after graduation, she made the decision to travel a bit. This is where the skeletons come into play.

While Macey was traveling in Europe, she would find ways to delay coming back home by searching for different projects to be a part of; this is how she became a part of an archeological dig in France. Working in a fourth-century cemetery, Macey spent weeks digging on the site, eventually uncovering a fully intact skeleton complete with a sword, jewels and buckles!

When the travel bug eased up, Macey decided to work at a test prep company in San Francisco.

Working as an English language tutor, she discovered her love for collaborating with students and learning about other cultures. Realizing she could do this as a job, Macey went back to school at San Francisco State University and got her Masters in the TESOL program.

It was during this time in the Bay Area that she met her east-coast-raised husband and followed her heart to the other side of the country. Making the move to New Jersey in 1997, Macey started teaching at a private language school and later in the City University of New York system, both as an instructor and as a professional development coordinator. After her first son was born in 2002, it was time to move out of the city.

Luckily for ILI, Macey had a best friend living out in Western Massachusetts that made it easy to find the new place she would call home.

Macey loved ILI the minute she walked in the door and was captivated by the unique and friendly atmosphere. She started teaching the free English program in the evenings when her first son was just ten months old, now she is getting ready to send him off to college. Still working alongside many of the same colleagues as when she first started, Macey is grateful for how appreciative and supportive everyone is of one another.

Her husband even says to her “I wish I worked at a job where people thanked me every day”. As her time continued at ILI she started taking on more responsibility and eventually transitioned to her current position as Director of English Programs. Nowadays you won’t find Macey teaching in a classroom unless she is substituting, but she certainly has her hands full! 

She oversees the Intensive English Program, student admissions and visas, program planning, along with English programs for immigrants and refugees and workplace English programs such as the one at Baystate Hospital to help healthcare and food service staff be eligible for better jobs in the hospital.

In her free time, Macey recently took up a new hobby – rowing. She even convinced four co-workers to take a learn-to-row class that required they be on the water by five in the morning (there is that supportiveness coming back into play!). She has continued training through the winter and is excited to be back out on the water this spring!

Something interesting about Macey (other than the whole skeleton ordeal) is that she previously owned a creative reuse craft store in Easthampton! She sold all sorts of stuff that could be used in a crafty way such as buttons, yarn, and other random objects, she even sold art from local artists who utilized recycled or reused things in their art! Although the store is closed now, she still enjoys partaking in crafty projects and home improvements!

Thanks for sharing your story with us Macey!